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Napa, CA • United States • 26 Years Old • Male
It is perhaps the most eniviable position to be in on draft day to be sitting at the table farthest from the draft stage. At that table sits the Stanley Cup champion. This year it was my beloved Penguins who had that honor, but I was not impressed with what they did from that position.

To be fair, I know little about the players that were selected by Pittsburgh. None of them played for the University of Minnesota last year, so I didn't see them play every time the Wild weren't on TV they way I saw Jordan Schroeder and a few of the Minnesota HS players (side note: Chuck Fletcher is going to be kicking himself for passing on Schroeder in favor of HS player Nick Leddy).

My issues with the Penguins draft choices lie instead with their organizational choices as opposed to the players themselves. Pittsburgh selected four defencemen with their seven picks, led by first-rounder Simon Despres and second-rounder Philip Samuelsson (son of former NHLer Ulf Samuelsson). The Penguins addressed an organizational need that just is not present at this time.

What the Penguins need are more forwards that can play on a second or third line. Most of the forwards in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton right now are third- or fourth-liners. They are role players, not secondary scorers. Janne Pesonen and Luca Caputi are pretty much it for scoring talent, and Pesonen is one of six forwards in WBS that is an unrestricted free agent on July 1 (faceoff-ace Mike Zigomanis is also in that group). Only two of the Penguins AHL defencemen are UFAs on Wednesday, and it is a pretty safe bet the Penguins will be able to resign at least one of the three UFAs on their blueline (my best guess: Mark Eaton and Rob Scuderi back, Hal Gill gone) and they expect Alex Goligoski to start next season in the NHL.

The blueline is not the issue right now because the Penguins have more than enough bodies and plenty of time to develop them. Again, they lack forwards who can put the puck in the net. They took a big step forward in that department by acquiring Eric Tangradi from Anaheim in the Ryan Whitney deal, but they need more talent for their developers to develop.
Filed Under:   Penguins   Draft  
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